UN to Double Food Rations for Ebola-Affected People in DR Congo

DR Congo: efforts to control Ebola epidemic continue, UN food relief agency doubles assistance to affected people

DR Congo: efforts to control Ebola epidemic continue, UN food relief agency doubles assistance to affected people

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today announced the detection of a second Ebola case in Goma, involving a 46-year-old man who had traveled from a community near Bunia in Ituri province.

Over the next six months, WFP will almost double its food assistance and nutritional support to 440,000 Ebola-affected people in DR Congo, Mr. Verhoosel announced, adding that this would include "primarily contacts of victims and their families, as well as confirmed and suspected cases". He's now isolated at an Ebola treatment center. "It is initially not being linked to the first case", said an official statement, signed by Congolese professor and leading Ebola researcher Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, seen by AFP.

According to a local health official, the latest person with the disease started developing symptoms on July 22, after arriving from a mining area outside the city. Goma is an especially worrisome area, because the capital of North Kivu province is home to about 2 million people and sits on the border with Rwanda.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in DRC has already killed more than 1,700 people, said UNICEF.

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Goma's first Ebola case was detected in mid-July, prompting the World Well being Group (WHO) to warn that the unfold of the illness might speed up. Health experts agree the experimental Ebola vaccine has saved multitudes in Congo.

Muyembe and different officers on Tuesday sought to reassure both Goma residents and neighboring nations that measures were being taken to strengthen surveillance for Ebola at border posts and elsewhere.

The declaration of a global health emergency - the fifth in history - brought a surge of millions of dollars in new pledges by worldwide donors but some health workers say a new approach is needed to combat misunderstandings in the community. Neighboring Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan started vaccinating health employees weeks or months in the past.

Earlier this week, the World Bank announced the mobilization of $300 million to scale up support for the global response to the Ebola epidemic in the DR Congo.

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